Friday, January 27, 2017

"What Does Practice Make?"

"What does practice make?"


"No. What does practice make?"

Every season of coaching our middle school soccer teams, Daddy would ask the same question in the middle of warmup touches. Confused silence always followed after the initial answer was rejected. Every single one of us girls had been told our whole lives that "practice makes perfect." So what was Coach/Daddy talking about?

After a minute, if no one offered any new answers, he provided the correct one for us.

"Permanent. Practice makes permanent."

And then he proceeded to explain.

"It doesn't matter how much you practice something if you're practicing it wrong. Whatever you do during practice is what's going to become permanent in your head. And then that's what you'll do during the game."

After the first couple times, my sister and I would exchange knowing smiles as the chorus of wrong answers were breathlessly given between touches, followed by the same explanation.

After a while, I realized that this sentiment doesn't just apply to soccer. Rarely anything does unless it's "shoot for the posts" or "keep the offender outside."

Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. (1 John 3:4)

The practice of these people is certainly not leading to perfection! A few verses later, John practically tells us right out not to believe the old adage about practice making perfect.

Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. (1 John 3:7-8a)

There's another old saying that almost everyone knows: you are what you eat. I'd like to think this is similar. You are what you do.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? . . . So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:14,17-18)

Our works are what show our faith and the works we do regularly (habits) are made by practice. I can't help but think of the line Daddy always used to end his mini lecture.

"Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."


Friday, January 20, 2017

Smoky Mountains

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a photographer. But I still like to take pictures because when you're deliberately taking pictures (especially for something like a blog post), you have to stop and look for the beauty. You're basically forced to enjoy God's Creation and I think that's pretty cool. So here are the pics from our trip to the Smoky Mountains a couple weeks ago.

Sunrise over the mountains

Pancakes for breakfast :)

This was outside the cabin in the picture above -
I thought it was a creative way to warn people :)

A mile is much too far for a four year old's legs.

She posed for me :D

So much snow we got an extra day of snowed in vacation!

An overlook near the cabin

What better way to get down the mountain than sliding on ice?

The pictures really don't do it justice and I'd love to go back. But for now, I can remember. :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

When Snow Touched the Earth

I recently pulled out an old school project because my sister's doing the same one right now. It was one of my favorites at the time and I think it still is. For the class, we were in the middle of reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. The idea behind the project was to take two sentences that you were given and expand them into a whole story or lecture or whatever you pleased.

Dickens was payed by the word and so he used a lot of them. This "maximalist" approach is what I used in my project, which I decided to post.

As you read this, you should know a couple points of background that I had in my head as I wrote. First, these are hobbit-like creatures. They're not hobbits, but they're quite similar. Second, they live in a future dystopian America, which happens to be part of the reason they're not actually hobbits.


* * *

When Snow Touched the Earth

Beebo Appleby carefully yet firmly set his boot on the tile floor of his mother’s kitchen. He sighed. Twenty seven years old and still living with his mother, searching her kitchen for bites to eat. The room was small in a cute way. Not small in a cramped way as many houses were in those days. It was unusual to invite guests over in the winter for there was no space in which even to greet them. It was this new “regulated housing” that the fascist government had so raved about. They had insisted that it would be better for all the people, eliminating jealousy and thus also thievery, murder, and other crimes of the horrific type.
Some were happy with this new housing and others (like Mr. Appleby) were quite irritated by it. Not that being unhappy did any good. The government didn’t particularly care about what the people thought. Their iron grip was strong enough to allow them to do as they pleased.
The worn work boots padded their equally worn way across the black and white tiles to the small window on the opposite wall. They were lucky to have glass. Most of their neighbors had only sealed plastic wrap over the few openings in their walls. Beebo shivered in sympathy. Working for the government sure had its perks. Like central heating. The mayor insisted that there were simply not enough resources to heat every house in the city and the suffering of the few led to the benefit of the whole society.
Beebo rolled his deep brown eyes and leaned his forehead against the cold glass. A shiver went down his spine as the temperature outside battled with that of his body. Snowflakes swirled in a graceful dance across the meadow, leaving behind a shimmery white blanket to cool the earth.
The snow reminded him of Joanna. Just yesterday they had been catching snowflakes on their tongues down by the ancient frozen river a mile yonder. Joanna had brushed a few crystals off of her nose and giggled. A rosy hue had risen to her freckled cheeks in response to the cold. She twirled in a circle, dress spinning and smiled at Beebo. “I love the snow! There’s something about it that makes it seem like all of the troubles in the whole world will go away forever under the quilt stitched every winter. Something almost magical.” Then she giggled again and collapsed into a snowbank.
The happiness and joy that had filled him at that frozen river now left him empty and depressed. He patted his jacket pocket. It was still there. The letter had been delivered just that morning. Drops of water stained the page and the tilted handwriting was a little messier than usual.
Joanna had written to tell him that they had been relocated to Arizona. She had found out as soon as she arrived at the large family’s miniscule house the previous day. They could never see each other again. The swirling snow no longer seemed to be filled with light magic but that of a darker force. Beebo tried to be happy for her. Now the whole Smugu family would be warm through the winter and her father could have a better job. Everyone knew the economy was better in Arizona than Maine.
The soft clicks of high heels sounded down the hallway, recalling Beebo to reality. His mother and Mrs. Smugu had been very good friends and now he would have to give her the upsetting news. He turned to the doorway, resolve written across his stout features.

* * *

By the way, you should defintiely go read A Tale of Two Cities! It's kind of long, but one of my absolute favorite books that I've ever been assigned for school - I would have read it without the assignment. :)


Friday, January 6, 2017


After deciding to lock myself in my room for the next hour and a half to get some midterm studying done, I opened the curtains. That was a huge mistake since I already knew it was snowing. And peaceful snow drifting down in a soft blanket can be quite distracting when you're looking at ancient Greek plays. Sooo I took some pictures. (By the way, the falling snow is kind of hard to see because I took most of them through my bedroom window.)

I just had to add this one because it's making
my whole room smell like gingerbread. :)

All right, break over. Back to those plays ;)